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Last Update: 2009-02-04
Bonsai tree species are either formal uprights, such as junipers and pines, or informal uprights, such as Japanese maple, trident maple and beach conifers. Choose the best species of bonsai tree, which can be shaped and trained for hundreds of years... View Video Transcript
Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we're going to talk all about bonsai tree species. Now bonsai is an art that uses plants that goes back to China 2 to 3,000 years ago and then the Japanese have used it for at least 1 to 2,000 years. And basically bonsai means a tray plant, so it's a plant that grows in a tray and pretty much any shrub or tree can be grown as a bonsai and basically by cutting down the roots and training the leaves and the branches either using wire or just cutting and pruning, they make these beautiful, beautiful bonsai trees and plants and it's more for show than anything else and there's some trees that are up to 800 to 1,000 years old in Japan which is just fascinating that they've been attended for that long. So there's many different types of bonsai tree varieties but they fall into different categories depending on the type of bonsai plant and the goal of that plant. So we'll go over those. So the formal upright, the trunk is always straight and the tree is balanced. So usually it's like a tree that comes in nature that you would see a fir tree with it has even branches naturally. And most of junipers and pines and spruces are great to use for bonsai if you're using a formal upright. Now the informal upright is just slanted barely and, but it's balanced according to the slant and usually they'll have some of the root will come up, it'll be balanced and it will come up as a slant. The best plants to use for informal uprights are the Japanese maple, the trident maples, beach conifers and crab apple. Now slanting are bonsai that are angle and the roots are really showing and the branches are grouped in threes and so the first branch is always one third up the trunk and usually conifers and junipers are used for that. And cascading are where the tip is below the container line where the bonsai really hangs over and the leaves are always turning upwards towards the sky. Different types of ivy and maples work really well for that. And then semi-cascading they dip but they're not below the container line or the very bottom of the pot and they roots are exposed which that they balance and so the trunk is always balanced. And flowering cherries, cedars and different types of junipers are used for that as well. There's lots of other types of trees and plants that work really well for bonsai. There's cherry, there's quints, there's all types of chameli, buganvilia, pretty much any type of plant with a woody stem can be turned into a bonsai and you can enjoy it all year long.